Message from the Dean
November 26, 2012
Many of our accomplishments over the last few years have been achieved through engagement and collaboration of many constituencies, including our devoted alumni and friends of NIU. This engagement has made so much possible -- including greater opportunities for our students, for professional development, job placement, experiential education, and mentoring. This year we will continue our focus on engagement in three important areas: the University, the region, and alumni.
The University: the richness of our University gives us opportunities for valuable collaborations in programs, joint degrees, and “pipeline” programs. I have been meeting with each of the University deans this summer to prioritize the collaborations that will have impact and provide benefits to students, the colleges, and the University as a whole. We will build on the joint efforts that already exist, including the JD/MPA and JD/MBA programs, the BS/JD joint degree with the College of Engineering, and the certificate in women’s studies.
The Region: we are proud to be the only public law school in Northern Illinois and to serve this community in a variety of ways. Our engagement with the region will include expanding experiential learning opportunities for our students: in clinics, externships, and pro bono projects. By expanding these hands-on opportunities for our students, we not only provide valuable training and experiences for them, we also improve access to much-needed legal services. We will be building on collaborations, including recent projects with the Illinois Innocence Project, Hesed House, and Hope Haven. Our reach is broad and provides ways to expand access to legal services.
Alumni: our renewed engagement with alumni began with my “sneaker tour” three years ago. We have come a long way since then, especially through our efforts with the Board of Visitors (BOV) and Alumni Council (AC). Those efforts will continue with more engagement of alumni, as the BOV and AC are collaborating on a class agent project that will have all classes well-represented and enthusiastically attending events, mentoring students, and recruiting the next generation of NIU Law alumni.
The engagement of NIU Law with the University, region, and alumni is vital to its success. I look forward to working with the entire College of Law community in enhancing NIU Law while remaining true to its core values.
All the best,